My Time Is Coming: Report 14 or 2 Busy 2 Poker


In case you didn’t see my announcement in this week’s #PNWPokerCalendar, I’m going to be live reporting from the World Series of Poker this summer, and the application process, plus starting to make preparations for the long haul of the series after getting accepted, has sucked up a lot of time. On top of that, if you liked the hand-by-hand examination of a 6-Max tournament I did, I spent a large part of the last week working up a similar series of articles for a PLO8 game, showing the chance of making the best high/low hands for the players remaining on each street. That will start going live in the next couple of days. But it hasn’t left a lot of time for the poker.

HAND 93 500/1000 92T
65 D 7AKT 25.3K 26/4
6 SB 6K92 14.4K 5/8
42 BB 93J5 4.8K 14/15 43/19 81/6
7 UTG 6K73 12.9K 5/2
39 HJ 9J88 44.0K 33/0
21 CO 4543 15.1K 26/48 64/53 20/25

Encore Club Encore Poker Series VIII #2 $30K NLHE

I wasn’t able to get to the tournament until 9pm, so I bought the add-on, despite it still being No Re-buy/Add-on Week. I did well for the first three hours, then started slipping down after midnight. I made a raise with [as qs] for about 25% of my stack on the last hand, then called all-in against a slightly larger stack who shoved [ax kx] from the blinds. I could have folded with 10BB behind, but I didn’t want to. Another shorter-stacked player went all-in on the same hand and was knocked out.

Four hours. 68th of 185 entries.IMG_2728

Final Table $1K NLHE

Lost a race after losing a bunch of chips in the first round of the button.

Forty-five minutes. 21st of 21 entries.


The Game 1-2 NLHE

Got off work (not the WSOP job yet) and dropped into The Game for a little shootout. I need to work on following my instinct to cash out while the cashing’s good. There was just one table with six players  after midnight Wednesday, and after the first hour I was up 100BB. One of the players left the table and I was inclined to go home myself after a long day, but since there was just 40 minutes to closing, I decided to stay.

Two hours. -5BB.

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for 27 April 2016

Pendleton Results (Final)

All of the results have been posted for the Wildhorse Spring Poker Round-Up. This edition of the High Roller (now $1.1K instead of the $2K it started off with in the fall of 2013) garnered 76 entries, for a prize pool of $72.2K. Portland’s Charlie Prom and Jacob Dahl took the top two spots. 341 entered the Main Event, making the prize pool $172K. Andy Su and Jordan Rich or Portland got 2nd and 3rd spots, with La Center’s Brian Thorp  coming in 4th. Kerry Moynahan of Beaverton came in 4th in the all-around points for the series; Charlie Prom got the point winner’s jacket by closing out first place in the High Roller and Event #2, with 439 entries.

The Immediate Future of Mutant Poker

A lot of readers here came aboard last summer, when I started doing daily round-ups of news from Las Vegas under the PNW_WSOP_15 tag. I looked through every payout list, news report, end of day report, seating chart, and blog post I could find on players from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and, yes, Idaho. Idaho! One blog to rule them all…. Most of my work was done here in Portland, though I was able to spend Colossus weekend in the WSOP Media room (yay!). The info was on the internet, it’s a lot cheaper for me to do the work from home than Vegas. It’s been my intention to do the same thing this upcoming WSOP.

But that’s not going to happen in 2016.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to be giving out useful information on events in Vegas. It’s just not going to be targeted to players from the Pacific Northwest, because I’ll be working as part of the WSOP’s live reporting team. I’ll be working in the Rio for most—if not all—of the seven weeks beginning right after Memorial Day. It’s an exciting opportunity for someone who likes to write about poker, which I do, though you might ask me about that in a couple of months. The long days of a poker reporter are likely to adversely affect how much info I post here through mid-July, but I’ll be back after that. There isn’t a huge amount going on regionally outside Vegas in June, anyway.

Thanks to all my regular readers. I wouldn’t be getting this gig if it wasn’t for the audience. I’ve never kept a diary, because I hate to write for a small audience, and writing just for a readership of one seems a bit masturbatory to me. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just prefer to share my love.) But without knowing that there were people who at least briefly looked at the articles and calendar, I wouldn’t have kept at it, and I wouldn’t be heading to Vegas for as long as I am this year. So pat yourselves on the back.

Meanwhile, I’m just about done with another tournament blow-by-blow, this time of a 65-player Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo Bounty tournament. Again, with all cards exposed, and down to the final heads-up hand. That should start later this week.

Just so you know not everything’s peaches and cream, now I’ve got so much stuff to get done in the next month I can’t take advantage of this:

Deal of the Day: Gardens

Sort of out of the blue the other day, I ran across an announcement from The Casino Formerly Known As Hawaiian Gardens Casino. Well it still is, sort of, but it looks like they’re re-branding it as just The Gardens Casino. No telling whether the city of Hawaiian Gardens is getting a name change, but I guess Hawaii just isn’t as exotic as it used to be. Anyway, the Inaugural 2016 Gardens Poker Festival is scheduled for 15 May to 1 June at “The gardens”, and it kicks off with a multi-entry-day $500K guarantee tournament with a $350 entry. Nine entry flights over the first five days of the festival, with the final day of the tournament on 20 May. There are Seniors, Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, “Raise or Fold”, Limit Big O, timed, ladies, heads up, and bounty tournaments. The biggest buy in is $440 for the $25K guarantee 64-player max HU tournament. Looks like some fun.

This Week in Portland Poker

  • Friday night is The Game‘s WSOP Ladies Event tournament, with the winner receiving a tournament entry worth $1K and a travel package to las Vegas. Sunday at noon is an $800 guarantee freeroll.
  • Early in the day on Friday at Portland Players Club/A&L Sports Pub, you can find a Dealers Choice Omaha $1/$1 shootout running at 11am. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t a
  • The Final Table’s 3rd Semi-Annual Portland Poker Classic, a $100K guarantee, with a $300 buy in/rebuy and a $100 add on is upon us. 11am Saturday. At 7pm the night before, there’s a $5K guarantee with $20 buy in and $20 pre-add on.

Only a Day Away

  • The Colorado State Poker Championship at Midnight Rose Poker Room runs through Sunday, ending with a $500 Main Event.
  • The Lucky Chances Battle of the Bay still has events with big guarantees for first place. Thursday is a $325 event with a $15K guaranteed first prize. Saturday and Sunday are entry days for the $1,105 Main Event with a $100K first-place prize.
  • Friday is the start of the Cal State Poker Championship at Commerce Casino in LA. Twenty events, running through 15 May, including four $100K guarantees, a $250K guarantee, and a $500K Main Event.
  • 7 May is the start of the WPTDeepstacks Central California, at Turlock Poker Room. Six events, with a $100K Main Event for $1.1K buy-in. And next Saturday is the 2nd Annual Central Valley Omaha Championships, an Omaha Hi-Lo tournament with a $160 buy-in.

Check out the #PNWPokerCalendar for more poker.

My Time Is Coming: Report 13 or No Rebuy Week

Every now and then I like to challenge myself to pay the bare minimum I can when I play poker. Conventional wisdom is that you should buy all the chips you can. My own philosophy is that a good player in a structure that’s decent should be just as successful (and likely more profitable) with the minimum.

Working on something big WSOP-related; may know the outcome by next week. Special thanks to everyone who’s offered support and advice this week.

Final Table $1K NLHE

Not much to say about this one. Got to the game a little behind schedule, had a couple hands go wrong, Out before break. It’s No Rebuy Week here at Mutant Poker.

Sixty minutes. 21st of 23 entries.

Final Table 11am $1K NLHE, 18 April 2016

Final Table $1K NLHE

Second stab at this one for the week. Went a little different. I didn’t build up a huge stack by the end of the first segment, but it’s also No Addon Week at Mutant Poker. Field sizes are still a bit  anemic in the 11am game, there were more shootout tables going than there were in the tournament.

I got to the final table in pretty good shape, with about a fifth of the chips in play, and played it relatively cautious as the short stacks jockeyed to see who would survive. I took a bit of a hit from JB on my left when I ran kings into aces and doubled her up, essentially swapping chips stacks, but them I managed to hit a few hands before the one pictured below.

We were down to six players with four getting paid, and I was in the big blind with aces. I don’t think I had the chip lead, but I was ahead of four of the stacks, with JB still ahead of me UTG, and what may have been the shortest stack UTG1. HJ raised and got called by CO. D raised, SB went all in, and I shoved my aces. Both HJ and CO went all in to call. HJ: kings. CO: tens. SB: jacks. Me: aces. The only Broadway card apart from an ace that was safe for me was a queen, and that was all that showed up. No flushes, no straights, no chops. Three players went out, there was no talk of a bubble, and only one of them got paid.

Four-way showdown at Final Table final table 19 April 2016

After the short stack (who’d moved up from sixth place to third as a result of that hand) busted, I suggested an even chop with a little bit of HU practice to JB, who had about 30% of the chips (first place was 180% of 2nd, but it was still just $200). We played for a little longer than that, collected our money, and I called it a day.

Final Table 11am $1K NLHE, 19 April 2016

Bovada 0.02/0.05 NLHE Zoom 6-Max

Killed some time before the start of the Encore Poker Series but didn’t go anywhere and lost a buy-in with a suited ace and a pair on two consecutive hands in the first session.

Two sessions. Twenty minutes. 77 hands. -173BB.

Bovada 0.02/0.05 PLO8 6-Max

My first session of this, I sailed down to 40BB from 100, then build up a little before I was dealt [jc as 8s 3c], called a pot-sized bet pre-flop and saw the flop HU: [5c 7s 2s]. With the nut low and nut flush draw, I potted, got called, re-potted on the [8d] turn, and went all in on the river. My [8s] made a better two pair for the high than aces and sevens for his [4d 9s 2h ad], and I scooped. Still lost the second session’s buy-in.

Two sessions. Forty-four minutes. 46 hands. -27BB.

Encore Club Encore Poker Series VIII #1 $20K NLHE

I’d though this was a re-entry tournament (sorry everyone I screwed over on the Planner write-up!) I took a big hit on the third hand with [qd qc]. The flop was [jx 5d ad], and I should have just broken it off there but one of the blinds was betting it and I thought I might set-mine a little. [9d] came on the turn though, so I was now drawing to the 2nd nut flush. I was pretty confident calling the [jd], though I felt a pang about the paired board. And Well I should have, because the blind had called my raise with [jc 5c] and had me beat on the flop.

I built things back up from 6K to 23K before running into the same player again just before break, when I got it all in pre-flop with [as ks] against his [ax ax]. Fine timing. I still had 3.5K behind. We were on the last hand before break and I was UTG1. I called a 1.1K raise with [6x 7x], and there were four or five players to the flop. [6h 7h 9c]. UTG shoves 3K (I hadn’t noticed he was so short. I called for less, and one other player called. UTG had two hearts, The caller had kc qc]. I was good on the turn, but the river was a heart and I was gone.

One hundred minutes. ~195th of 202 entries.

Encore Club EPS VIII #1 $20K NLHE, 21 April 2016


#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for 20 April 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 11.12.45 AMProp Bets

My first piece for PokerNews in several months came out the same day as last week’s Planner. I didn’t know exactly when it was going up, so all I could do was tease it last week, but it’s still a decent read, if you want to know how often top players make deep runs in the WSOP Main Event.

The piece was inspired by a question posed to me a couple weeks back by John Finnigan. John and a friend had a bet on the number of players who’d made it to the Top 100 of the Main Event had done it more than once, like John’s buddy, Josh Prager did in 2005 (96th) and 2013 (41st). I believe John came in low and Josh”s original number was high, then he revised it to just about dead-on. You can read the article for the number.

evandroiA prop bet from last year’s Main Event was the basis for an article I published here Monday. $5K was up for grabs between Bryce Yockey and Limon (and me). What is the return on investment (ROI) for 100 player specially selected as winners by Bryce? The answer won’t surprise you if you’ve been reading my articles over the past couple years, but it’s worth a read for the sweat.

Pendleton Results

As of post time, results were in for the first seven events at the Wildhorse Spring Poker Round-Up last week. Angela Jordison did not successfully defend her record of three wins in the first three events from last spring, but nobody won more than one of the first seven this year. Look at the PDF for details (and check the Wildhorse poker page or Hendon Mob for more results as they get posted), but here are some highlights:

  1. $120 NLHE, $3K added. 529 entrants. $53.3K prize pool.
    Winner: Lisa Meredith, Vancouver, $10.7K.
  2. $225 NLHE, $3K added. 439 entrants. $86.4K prize pool.
    Winner: Charlie Prom, Portland, $18.6K.
  3. $225 NLHE. $3K added. 189 entrants. $38.9K prize pool.
    Winner: Michael St. Pierre, Spokane, $8.1K.
  4. $225 Limit Omaha HI-Lo, $3K added. $38.5K prize pool.
    Winner: Steve Chanthabouasy, Happy Valley, $9.4K.
  5. $225 HORSE, $3K added. 118 entrants, $23.6K prize pool.
    Winner: Ted Naff, Bremerton, $6.3K.
  6. $120 NLHE Turbo, $1K added. 133 entrants. $13.6K prize pool.
    Winner: Victor Acevedo, Beaverton, $3.3K.
  7. $225 NLHE Seniors, $3K added. 267 entrants. $53.7K prize pool.
    Winner: Michael Koons, Kennewick, $12.3K.

Deal of the Day: Run It Up Reno

Twitch poker sensation Jason Somerville has taken some pages from Daniel Negreanu‘s book and used what could have been just a Warholian 15 minutes of fame to springboard into a world beyond simply playing poker. Enlisting the power of the Run It Up Legion (as he calls his army of followers), he’s become a commentator for WSOP livestreams, a sometime co-host of the PokerNews Podcast, and last fall, he produced a tournament series in Reno. PokerNews was involved in Run It Up Reno last year—something that showed in the saturation coverage they gave the series compared to anything else with buy-ins of the same size—but it was by all accounts a lot of fun, Well, he’s back. with a May edition of Run It Up Reno, once again at the Peppermill Casino, running in the week before the start of the WSOP, from 24—30 May.

Most of the schedule is $85, $125, and $235, and includes All In or Fold, PLO 6-MaxBig O 6-Max8-Game, and Ante-Only, among other things, culminating in a $150K NLHE Main Event for $565.

If you’re looking for something to whet your whistle right before the WSOP, it might make a nice stop on the way south.

This Week in Portland Poker

  • Encore Club‘s EPS VIII starts tomorrow evening. Details on their site, but this is the rundown: Thursday: $20K NLHE (8pm, $100 entry/re-entry live re-buy, $50 add-on); Friday: $30K NLHE (8pm, $150 entry/re-entry live re-buy, $80 add-on); Saturday: $50K NLHE (1pm, $250 entry/re-entry, $100 add-on); Sunday: $100K NLHE (noon, $500 entry/re-entry, $200 add-on).
  • The Game has a winner-takes-most tournament Friday night at 7pm. $50 buy-in, $50 re-buy, $25 add-on. Up for grabs is a 2016 WSOP NLHE Ladies package that includes the $1K entry and a 2-day Vegas travel package.
  • At the Final Table there’s a $100K guarantee is coming up a week from Saturday.
  • Big O ran at A&L Sports Pub last Friday ($1K guarantee, 6pm) and Sunday (noon). Maybe again?

Only a Day Away

  • At the Liz Flynt Spring Poker Classic, the last big event is this weekend, a $200K guarantee with $50K guaranteed to first. $220 entry, two flights per day Friday through Monday.
  • Sunday is the beginning of the Colorado State Poker Championship at Midnight Rose Poker Room near Colorado Springs. It runs through the end of the month, with a plethora of $110 tournaments, ending with a $500 Main Event.
  • If you’re in Las Vegas instead of Portland, the Wynn Signature Weekend is a $250K guarantee tournament with a $600 buy-in. Entry flights Thursday through Saturday at noon. Or you can try out Planet Hollywood‘s Phamous Weekend, with Friday and Saturday flights at noon and 4pm ($350), a $100K guarantee. Day 2 for both events are on Sunday.
  • Thursday is also the first of three days of flights for a $100K at San Diego’s Oceans 11. $240 buy-in and flights each day at 10am and 6pm, with Day 2 on Sunday.
  • The Lucky Chances Battle of the Bay is coming up Saturday, and it might be a nice next stop after you’ve cashed big at the EPS (see the Deal from last month). Multiple events with guaranteed prizes up to $100K for 1st.
  • The Last Sunday tournaments at Tulalip and Muckleshoot are, respectively, a $30K ($345 entry, 11am) and a noon $150 entry with $100 add-on.
  • Next Friday is opening day for the Cal State Poker Championship at Commerce Casino in LA. Twenty events, running through 15 May, including four $100K guarantees, a $250K guarantee, and a $500K Main Event.
  • 7 May is the start of the WPTDeepstacks Central California, at Turlock Poker Room. Six events, with a $100K Main Event for $1.1K buy-in. That day is also the start of the Club One Spring Roll 80 miles to the southeast in Fresno. It includes a multi-entry day $75K NLHE game as its primary draw, but (my error, this event was in April) That Saturday is the 2nd Annual Central Valley Omaha Championships, an Omaha Hi-Lo tournament with a $160 buy-in.

Check out the #PNWPokerCalendar for more poker.

EV and ROI At the Mirage


EV & ROI with their magical white tiger, Markup, about to ask you for WSOP backing. Or Halloween candy.
Image source: Gina Lee Photography.

A National Public Radio Planet Money series a couple weeks back about the poker economy is finally prodding me to finish off this article, that got started just before last year’s WSOP Main Event. It’s a controversy! It’s a math problem! It’s sure to make people mad or upset! (I apologize in advance for some of the language.)

Like most things these days, it started on Twitter.


Abe “Limon,” host of Live at the Bike‘s #PokerSesh, hasn’t exactly hidden his disdain for poker tournaments, poker tournament players, or poker tournament players charging markup on action they sell so they can play poker tournaments.


In fact, what brought me and Limon together was a blog post I wrote that ended up on Deadspin (no link, because the bastards still haven’t paid me the $50 they owe me after two years Barry Petchesky at Deadspin saw one of my occasional complaints on Twitter in 2018 and managed to get me paid—plus some—so al is good) and spawned a TwoPlusTwo NVG thread. He invited me on his show back before it was hosted by LATB, had me back for the first LATB show, and I’ve been on a couple times since.

The article elaborated on a Card Player column by Bryan Devonshire about how you can probably make more money playing $1/$3 NLHE than as a tournament specialist in the US, bolstering Limon’s contention that most tournament players are losing players and that the reason there’s such a marketplace for staking, sharing, and swapping (jeez, it sounds like the ’70s all over) is because people are continually on the verge of financial oblivion. After all, if you have good bankroll management, why would you need someone else’s money? As Vinnie Pahuja said on the Two Plus Two PokerCast a couple of years ago: “…the majority of the MTT world is backed, because it’s just — the amount of money you really need to play the circuit or play MTTs full-time… most of us are not playing with enough money….”

Both Limon and I got lots of pushback from tournament players (unlike Limon, I am a tournament player), but not only is Limon a more—let’s say outgoing—person than myself, but he’s got years of cash game experience, he’s been on TwoPlusTwo forever, and he’s the kind of guy who would show up at a $5/$10 PLO table with $100K (plus a little) as a teaser to promote a new game at The Bike. I can give you a lot of reasons why I’m not that guy. So, while after writing my little article I continued playing tournaments and writing more little articles, Limon kept up some good-natured harassment of/ranting at any tournament reg who lipped off at him. Limon doesn’t care, he can get stung a thousand times, he doesn’t give a shit.


The gray chips on the right are $1K each.

Anyway, about this time last year, a running conversation was happening on Twitter between @limonpoker and a number of others (but mainly Justin ‘@stealthmunk’ Schwartz) about expected return on investment (ROI) in the World Series of Poker Main Event (Schwarz went on to place 14th in the Main Event, as you may remember).


Some outlandish numbers were being thrown around by Schwartz and others about expected ROI. On a #PokerSesh in mid-July, after most of the Main Event had played out, Limon said Schwartz had claimed months earlier that there were at least 400 players in the Main Event whose average ROI was 300%.

When Limon asked my opinion about it a couple weeks later (he also talked to David Sklansky and @realbigbadbabar), I had to agree that claims of expected value in tournaments were vastly inflated.


Schwartz never agreed to the bet, but LA player Bryce ‘@SuddenlyBryce’ Yockey did.

Gentlemen, Place Your Bets

The bet was for $5K. Full disclosure: in exchange for some research, Limon gave me 5% of the bet (that’s more than five unpaid Deadspin articles, in case you’re counting see note above). The terms went through some finessing in the couple of months leading up to the Main Event, but the essence was that Bryce could pick a slate of 100 players in the Main Event. To win the bet, Bryce’s players would have to make an ROI of 150%: they’d need to cash for a combined sum of $2.5M ($1M for the cost of their buy-ins, $1.5M in profit). Because the slate of players would have to be picked before the Main Event began, each player who could be verified as not having played would take $25K off the target of $2.5M. And oh, he couldn’t pick Phil Ivey or Daniel Negreanu for the slate.

Meanwhile, Limon kept hustling for more takers. And needling Schwartz.

By starting day, the list was set.

Timothy Adams
Max Altergott
Calvin Anderson
Patrik Antonius
Jeremy Ausmus
David ‘Bakes’ Baker
Ami Barer
Isaac Baron
David Benefield
Justin Bonomo
Shawn Buchanan
Pratyush Buddiga
Olivier Busquet
Moshin Charania
Stephen Chidwick
Daniel Colman
Connor Drinan
Jonathan Duhamel
Darren Elias
Ari Engel
Antonio Esfandiari
Ryan Fee
Martin Finger
Phil Galfond
Stephen Graner
Sam Greenwood
Garrett Greer
Tony Gregg
Ashton Griffin
Bertrand Grospellier
Steve Gross
Phil Gruissem
Christian Harder
Isaac Haxton
Pius Heinz
Phil Hellmuth
Nicolas Henniker
Fedor Holz
Barry Hutter
Martin Jacobson
Aaron Jones
John Juanda
Kane Kalas
Mustapha Kanit
Eugene Katchalov
Byron Kaverman
Bryn Kenney
Dong Kim
Davidi Kitai
Chris Klodnicki
Jason Koon
Alexander Kostritsyn
Joe Kuether
Igor Kurganov
Jason Les
Andrew Litchenberger
Tom Marchese
Mike McDonald
Jason Mercier
Greg Merson
Sorel Mizzi
Jason Mo
Chris Moorman
Thomas Muehloecker
Dominik Nitsche
Dan O’Brien
James Obst
Steve O’Dwyer
Emil Patel
David Peters
Doug Polk
Fabien Quoss
Brian Rast
Tobias Renkenmier
Marvin Rettenmaeir
Brian Roberts
David Sands
Ole Schemion
Jake Schindler
Shannon Schorr
Nick Schulman
Huck Seed
Erik Seidel
Scott Seiver
Vanessa Selbst
Max Silver
Steven Silverman
Dan Smith
Jason Somerville
Dani Stern
Yevgenie Timoshenko
JC Tran
Sam Trickett
Vladimir Troyanovski
Dzmitry Urbanovich
Cristoph Vogelsang
Paul Volpe
Dylan Wilkerson
Sean Winter
Bryce Yockey














A number of the players had individual live tournament winnings of more than $2.5MEight of the top ten Hendon Mob All Time Money List players were in the group (with restricted players Negreanu and Ivey missing). Four were Main Event champions, and two others have won $2.5M in a single non-high roller event. So it wasn’t exactly a group of slackers.

Day 1: 100 Players?

On Day 1A, eleven of the players took to the field, with four falling on the first day of the challenge: Asmus, Duhamel, Griffin, Holz, Kim, Quoss, and Sands went on to Day 2. Klodnicki, Lichtenberger, Mo, and Seidel were out.

Day 1B got 30 entrants from the list, with Charania, Chidwick, Hutter, Katchalov, Kurganov, O’Dwyer, Schorr, Seiver, and Smith failing to make the cut.

Day 1C saw 43 entries by selected players. Out of this group, the early exiters were Antonius, Buchanan, Elias, Greer, Gregg, Jacobson, Kuether, Merson, Polk, and Volpe.

Players Eliminated On Days 1A, 1B, and 1C

Patrik Antonius  C
Shawn Buchanan  C
Moshin Charania  B
Stephen Chidwick  B
Darren Elias  C
Garrett Greer  C
Tony Gregg  C
Barry Hutter   B
Martin Jacobson  C
Eugene Katchalov  B
Chris Klodnicki  A
Joe Kuether  C
Igor Kurganov  B
Andrew Litchenberger  A
Greg Merson  C
Jason Mo  A
Steve O’Dwyer  B
Doug Polk  C
Shannon Schorr  B
Erik Seidel  A
Scott Seiver  B
Dan Smith  B
Paul Volpe  C

If you’ve been keeping count, you’ll notice that’s only 83 players. Some, like Juanda, didn’t make it to the show. Baker was unhappy with cards and conditions at the Rio and didn’t play. I was able to confirm several as no-shows, and anyone I couldn’t find in WSOP reporting, we counted as not having played. Seventeen players in all at $25K each, bringing the target all the way down to $2.075M.

Players Who Didn’t Play

Max Altergott
David ‘Bakes’ Baker
Ari Engel
Ryan Fee
Phil Gruissem
Pius Heinz
Nicolas Henniker
Aaron Jones
John Juanda
Bryn Kenney
Alexander Kostritsyn
Emil Patel
Vanessa Selbst
Vladimir Troyanovski
Dzmitry Urbanovich
Cristoph Vogelsang
Dylan Wilkerson

Day 2: 60 Players

Still, 60 players made it through to Day 2, with Dominick Nitsche, Fedor Holz, and Steve Gross all over 100K in chips. 28 of them started on Day 2AB, with 15 out before Day 3. Another 32 headed into Day 2C, with 17 out. 50%+1 eliminated on both Day 2s. These players were far easier to verify: anyone showing up on End of Day 1 chip counts who didn’t appear on EOD2 counts or seating for Day 3 was off the list.

Players Eliminated on Days 2AB and 2C

Calvin Anderson  C
Jeremy Ausmus  AB
Ami Barer  C
Isaac Baron  C
Pratyush Buddiga  AB
Olivier Busquet  C
Connor Drinan  C
Phil Galfond  AB
Sam Greenwood  AB
Ashton Griffin  AB
Bertrand Grospellier  C
Isaac Haxton  AB
Mustapha Kanit AB
Jason Koon  C
Jason Les  AB
Tom Marchese  AB
Mike McDonald  C
Jason Mercier  AB
Thomas Muehloecker  AB
Dominik Nitsche  AB
James Obst  C
David Peters  AB
Brian Rast  AB
Marvin Rettenmaeir  C
Brian Roberts  C
Ole Schemion  AB
Nick Schulman  C
Huck Seed  C
Max Silver  C
Jason Somerville  C
Yevgenie Timoshenko  C
Sam Trickett  C

Only 28 players were left—about a third of those from the list who’d entered—and we weren’t even to the money yet. The 2015 WSOP did have the advantage for players trying to make the money of paying out $15K to over 300 players between the historical 10% payouts and the magic number of 1,000. Day 3 started with about 1,800 players.

Day 3: 28 Players

Players On Day 3

Timothy Adams
David Benefield
Justin Bonomo
Daniel Colman
Jonathan Duhamel
Antonio Esfandiari
Martin Finger
Stephen Graner
Steve Gross
Christian Harder
Phil Hellmuth
Fedor Holz
Kane Kalas
Byron Kaverman
Dong Kim
Davidi Kitai
Sorel Mizzi
Chris Moorman
Dan O’Brien
Fabien Quoss
Tobias Renkenmier
David Sands
Jake Schindler
Steven Silverman
Dani Stern
JC Tran
Sean Winter
Bryce Yockey

10 of the 28 were eliminated before the money (names with strikeout); Benefield, Kalas, and Silverman went out before the end of day, but made the minimum cash of $15K. Really, it would have been better for Bryce if they just hadn’t shown up, because then they would have been worth $25K.

$45K in actual earnings and the rebate for selected players who hadn’t entered the Main Event, meant the goal was now $2.03M. With 15 players remaining, they needed an average cash of more than $135K to make the goal. The payout tier for 46th to 54th place netted $137.3K, with the tier below at just $113.8K.

Needless to say, there was a lot of virtual evil rubbing of hands going on at our end of the bet, though we did work up a bit of a sweat during Day 4 when Fedor Holz and Stephen Graner were both in the top 10 chip counts.

Day 4: 15 Players

Players On Day 4 and Chip Positions for Start of Day 5 (237 Remaining)

Justin Bonomo  31
Jonathan Duhamel
Antonio Esfandiari  223 Stephen Graner
Steve Gross  75
Christian Harder  125
Phil Hellmuth
Fedor Holz  180
Davidi Kitai
Dan O’Brien  217
David Sands
Jake Schindler
JC Tran
Sean Winter
Bryce Yockey

9 players cashed on Day 4 for $190.4K. Total. $21,159 on the average, rounded up. Still less than the $25K Bryce got spotted if they hadn’t shown up (Stephen Graner was the only player to cash for more than $25K for the day). Only six players remained, with $1,839,571 to go to make the goal. If one of them could make it to 6th place, the other five would only need to make twice as much as the 12 players who’d already cashed.

Day 5: 6 Players

Day 5 of the Main Event took the overall field from 237 to 69. Antonio Esfandiari, Christian Harder, and Dan O’Brien all cashed for $40,433. The three players remaining—Fedor Holz, Steve Gross, and Justin Bonomo—needed to win nearly $1.72M for Limon (and me) to lose.

Day 6: 3 Players

Day 6 gave us a bit of a scare. A player named David Peters showed up in fourth place in the chip tally. I’d eliminated his name on Day 2AB because nobody with that name showed up on the EOD3 report. Limon confirmed with Bryce that it was, indeed, a different David Peters in Day 6. Why he suddenly appeared out of nowhere, I don’t know. The WSOP reports aren’t perfect; that there hadn’t been any David Peters at one point appeared to be just a clerical error. The only “Peters” on the Start of Day 4 list is “St. Petersburg” as a hometown for a bunch of Russian players. Then “David Peters (CA)” is back on for Start of Day 5.

Justin Bonomo was the first out, in 64th place for just about $96.5K, less than an hour into the day. More than three hours went by before Steve Gross was done in 47th, for $137.3K. That meant 82 players accounted for a total of $590,473 in winnings (an average of $7.2K), leaving a lot of heavy lifting for Fedor Holz, the Last Pick Standing, to win the bet. With a target of $2.075M ($2.5M less $25K for each of the selected player who didn’t enter the Main Event), Holz would need to win $1,484,527: at least 5th place. 6th place paid $1,426,283, more than $60K short of the goal.

Day 7: Fedor Holz

Now, I don’t doubt Holz’s abilities as a poker player, but with more than 45 players left—including a number of other very good players—I was feeling pretty good about our chances. Holz had started Day 6 44th of 69, two thirds of the way down the tally. Starting Day 7 in 19th of 27 was essentially the same relative position. Instead, he went out in 25th place, 100 minutes into the day, for about $262.6K. It was almost half what all the other picks had won, but not enough.

Non-Players Come to the Rescue

All told, of the 83 players Bryce picked who played the Main Event, 18 of them cashed, an aggregate 21.7% ITM. They made a total of $853,047, between 9th and 10th place money. The average cash was $10,275, so as a group, they made their money back, but only at a rate of 2.75%, nowhere close to the 150% ROI that was the line for the bet, or the fanciful 300% ROI swirling around in last spring’s run-up.

Combined with the amount spotted for non-participants (who were all assumed at an average 150% ROI for $25K), the selected players made $1,278,047, barely half the amount needed to win the bet for Bryce. Individually, just 7 of the 83 players who entered the Main Event had individual ROI of better than 150%, less than 9% of the a group drawn from some of the most elite players in the world. Given that small percentage, the $25K allowance for the non-players was exceptionally generous; the amount the non-players made accounted for a third of the money “earned” by the selected players.

The Future

I’m fairly sure Limon’s up for the opportunity to take someone else on for this one in 2016. He said on #PokerSesh that on second thought, he might not have ruled out Hellmuth or Negreanu as selections. Even with Negreanu’s deep run (Hellmuth made $21.7K for 417th), having them in the mix wouldn’t have affected the outcome: Negreanu made $526.8K for 11th place; adding his and Hellmuth’s winnings to the money earned by the rest of the picks barely cracks $1.75M, much less $2.5M.

Substituting Negreanu and Hellmuth for a couple of the no-shows and calculating just actual winnings would have earned an average of $15.9K per player, a 59% ROI for a stable made up of 85 of the top players from around the world and including two players who made it into the final three tables of the Main Event. something only 0.4% of the entrants managed to do.

Something to keep in mind the next time you get asked to pay markup on buying some action.

My Time Is Coming: Report 12 or Wildhorse Couldn’t Drag Me Away

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 11.12.45 AMFor anyone who might have missed the blitz of Tweets and Facebook shares I did on my new article for PokerNews, it takes a look at the chance that a player will make the Top 100 in the WSOP Main Event more than once.

Other than that, it’s been a quietish week of poker for moi. It’s Tax Week, which means that I’ve drawn down every bit of money I have to pay the Feds and the state after spending hours trying to figure out how to pay less. Yes, my timebank and poker bankroll are a bit depleted,so no trip out to Pendleton for the Wildhorse Spring Poker Round-Up. Good luck to everyone out there.

Encore Club $2K NLHE

Every now and again, I like to discipline myself by forcing myself to not do re-buys or add-ons. This was one of those experiments. It went very well at first; I shot up from 15K starting stack to 55K in the first three levels, then just before the break, I doubled the same player up twice after felting him in an early round with [kh 5h] making a low straight. I caught 2nd pair on an uncoordinated queen-high flop and put him all-in when he did have the queen, then on the vert next hand playing [jd 7d], I caught top pair on the turn and thought I was about to catch him with another straight after the board ran out [jx 9x 8x 5x 6x]. He hesitated when I bet the river, then went all-in with [7x tx] for the second nuts and I called. By the second break, I’d built back up, and continued accruing chips, but not fast enough. I did outlast the guy I’d doubled, though.

Three hours and twenty-five minutes. 13th of 31 entries.


Final Table $1K NLHE

I was on another heater during this tournament and made it to the final table with a decent-sized stack, but ended up in a hand of [ax qx] v [ax kx] and busted short of the money. Overlay in this tournament of 12% of the prize pool.

Three hours and fifty-five minutes. 6th of 21 entries.


Puffmammy NLHE

The home game I started out with. I did re-buy in this game, then had a massive number of chips after playing [2d 3d] and making a straight flush on the turn. I managed to get myself called by two pair on a board with straight, flush, and full house possibilities. But I somehow didn’t even get close to the money.

Two hours and thirty minutes. 5th of 7 entries.

Encore Club $1K NLHE

Got to this game at the first break after busting Puffmammy. Encore had dropped some of the guarantees during the week, but I jumped in (getting the add-on because I was late-regging). Sat at the table with Brad P for a while, then got moved, then he was back when we were down to two tables. I picked up [ac jc] in the BB and got involved in a three-way all-in with Steve S, who’d shoved [ax tx] in middle position, and got called by [kh qh] on the button. A couple of tens on the board and Steve S was the one left standing. Or sitting.

One hour and thirty minutes. 17th of 27 entries.


Final Table $1K NLHE

I was about a half-hour late to this. Was doing fine, not great. On the last hand before break I raised [ax kx], got several callers, and flopped an ace with two lower hearts. I shoved, got called by [ah 2h] and he caught a deuce on the turn. Did not rebuy.

Fifty minutes. 20th of 24 entries.


Encore Club $8K NLHE

Got to Encore about halfway through the first level and picked up [ax qx] on my first hand UTG. Raised it, got several callers, flopped an ace, and kept the gas on. UTG1 kept calling me to the river with second pair and lost about 6K in the process, so I had a decent start. One of the guys I used to play with at the old Aces sat down two seats to my left after I got there, and on a hand where I’d called a raise with [kc 9c], he jammed 7.3K on the button after having lost most of his chips in the short time since he sat down. Action folded to me and I called for about 40% of my chips. He had [tx tx]. The flop was [tx ax qx], I made Broadway on the turn with [jx] but the river paired [jx] and I lost to the full house. From there, I never managed to quite have the best hand. The guy I doubled up lost all the chips I gave him bluffing into a nut flush. And I was out after flopping top top with [ax jx] only to have the BB in the hand with [qx qx].

Fifty minutes. 81st of 97 entries but out before break.

20160414 Encore

#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for 13 April 2016

Black Friday

This Friday is the anniversary of Black Friday: April 15, 2011, which put a kink in the lives of a lot of US poker players who played on PokerStars, Full Tilt, and other sites (though most of them had other issues that would have brought them down, eventually). I’d mostly been playing in a home game since coming back to poker, and hadn’t really gotten deep into the online world before it got shut down. Coincidentally—or not—the boom in Portland poker came not long after Black Friday, with Aces Players ClubAce of SpadesFinal Table Poker Club, and Encore Club opening to join the already-existing Portland Players Club. Four years later we’ve got two $100K guarantee live events in the city in the space of a week.

If you want a primer on what went down, read Martin Harris’s article on PokerNews this week.

Big Stack Closes, Portland Meadows Coming

I’ll let Brian Sarchi say it.


Zach Elwood, author of Reading Poker Tells (among other things), posted this on Twitter Tuesday, which got some laughs:

The site doesn’t seem to have much going for it (I can see a bunch of PHP errors on the landing page behind the sign-in dialog) but it’s not a joke, it definitely is in Portland and the Google Maps image from just two months ago even shows the same SUV parked in a slightly different position.

Stay Safe Out There

Heard a disturbing story on Tuesday from a player who’d been at Encore Club the night before. After winning some money at the shootout tables, he left and walked to his car, which was parked around the corner from the Mission Theater, just a couple blocks from the club. I wasn’t particularly late, about 10:30pm as he recalled. Then a guy stuck a gun in his face and told him to hand over his wallet.

For whatever reason, at the time the player told his story, he said he hadn’t contacted either police or the club—for whatever reason, some people don’t like dealing with the police—which everyone at the table we were at encouraged him to do, so I’m leaving out a number of details.

As poker players, some of us are wandering the streets with wads of cash in our pockets (others not). But just being in the vicinity of a place where it’s known that there’s a lot of cash can make you a target, because somebody’s going to assume that a percentage of the people in the neighborhood will have a chunk of money on them, and if they see you coming out of a club’s door, that just increases the probability.

So make sure you’re not an easy target. A robber would have to have someone inside a club (not inconceivable) to know who might be walking out with a lot of money, but you could easily lose what you brought to the club and still get a gun shoved in your face just by being there. You don’t want to have to have the “I just lost everything” conversation with a twitchy felon. Keep an eye out even if you lost and be ready to circle back to the front door if anything seems sketchy.

If you’re playing late and parked a ways away from a club, spots closer in usually open up as the night goes on. Pop out and move your car closer so your exposure isn’t as great when you leave with money.

If there’s a security guard and you’ve got a bunch of cash on you, ask the guard to walk you to your car. They’ve got a gun. Both Encore and Final Table hire armed security for most of their big events, and they’re usually more than willing to accompany you for a block or two.

If you are walking or you’ve got several blocks between you and your car, call a cab. Sure, you might be only going a few blocks, but that can be an expensive few blocks if you get robbed. Way more expensive than a cab that can pick you up at the club door and take you right to your car. Or home.

Deal of the Day: Encore Poker Series VIII

Starting a week from tomorrow, the Encore Poker Series returns with four increasingly large guarantees: $20K, $30K, $50K, and $100K. Results from last fall’s series were posted on Encore’s Facebook page (and reposted here). The short version is that the prize pools for the four events (with the same guarantees as the series next week) were $40.5K, $52.5K, $66.4K, and $140.9K, with the top 2 players in the $100K each getting nearly $30K apiece. This will be the first Portland event that I’m aware of reported to the Hendon Mob poker database. Pretty soon, you won’t need old Poker Mutant to find out past prize pool info (sniff).


Do I really need to say much more about this? The smaller events usually take the room to capacity and beyond. Last fall, even the $100K got a total of 215 entries (including 50 re-entries). I’d love if they could run a satellite to the series like Muckleshoot does, with one satellite giving you entry to all four events, but apparently the gaming club ordinances don’t allow for those types of things. I’m just hoping for some more run-good.

This Week in Portland Poker

Only a Day Away

  • At the Liz Flynt Spring Poker Classic, Thursday through Monday are $400 flights for a $500K guarantee. Two flights per day at 12:30pm and 5pm, with Day 2 on Tuesday. Next weekend is a $200K guarantee with $50K guarantee for 1st place.
  • The Wildhorse Spring Poker Round-Up continues through the weekend. Thursday is the $1.1K High Roller (there’s a $225 satellite for that tonight at 7pm), as well as a $225 NLHE with $3K added. Friday is the $325 NLHE ($5K added) and Saturday is Day 1 of the $530 Main Event.
  • Mid-States Poker Tour’s Golden Gates Main Event ($200K guarantee, $1.1K entry) concludes the series this weekend.
  • The WPTDeepstacks Thunder Valley series Main Event is a $250K guarantee, $1.1K entry event starting Friday.
  • Calgary’s Deerfoot Inn Spring Super Stack series runs through 17 April; the Main Event is a C$150K guarantee, C$1.1K event.
  • Talking Stick outside Phoenix has another Getaway Poker Classic, where you get two night’s free room if you register for all three of their tournaments (one $200 and two $300) this weekend.
  • High Mountain Poker Palace in Eugene has a quarterly $230 buy-in scheduled for Saturday at noon.
  • Sunday is the beginning of the Colorado State Poker Championship at Midnight Rose Poker Room near Colorado Springs. It runs through the end of the month, with a plethora of $110 tournaments, ending with a $500 Main Event.
  • If you’re in Las Vegas instead of Portland next weekend, the Wynn Signature Weekend is a $250K guarantee tournament with a $600 buy-in. Entry flights Thursday through Saturday at noon. Or you can try out Planet Hollywood‘s Phamous Weekend, with Friday and Saturday flights at noon and 4pm ($350), a $100K guarantee. Day 2 for both events are on Sunday.
  • Next Thursday is also the first of three days of flights for a $100K at San Diego’s Oceans 11. $240 buy-in and flights each day at 10am and 6pm, with Day 2 on 24 April.
  • The Lucky Chances Battle of the Bay is coming up a week from Saturday, and it might be a nice next stop after you’ve cashed big at the EPS (see the Deal from last month). Multiple events with guaranteed prizes up to $100K for 1st.
  • The Last Sunday tournaments at Tulalip and Muckleshoot are, respectively, a $30K ($345 entry, 11am) and a noon $150 entry with $100 add-on. Last Sunday this month is 24 April, which is the $100K at Encore, so I expect more southbound traffic than anything going north.

Check out the #PNWPokerCalendar for more poker.

My Time Is Coming: Report 11 or Straight Flushed Away

A little late with the Report this week; I was finishing up a couple of articles—including what should be the first item I’ve had on PokerNews in a number of months—and getting ready to pay taxes.

Final Table $20K NLHE

Encore late-announced a $20K against the longstanding First Friday $20K at Final Table. A friend texted me and asked me where I thought the bigger prize pool was going to be, and despite my preference for the structure (and chairs) at FT, this was my response:

Encore consistently outperforms FT on guarantees of the same size. Encore will probably pull players from FT. If its a live rebuy, average at Encore’s going to be equal to FT buyin+addon. FT’s had a few games on edge of guarantee over past year, they may miss tonight. Last month FT had $24550 in pot. Encore would need about 165 players to make that. I expect they’ll get near.

Back in the old days of the blog (and every now and then more recently), I used to note my hands in live games and write them up. Matthew, one of the dealers at Final Table mentioned it during the game, for which I want to give him a shout-out. It’s tough to do live. It takes away from your ability to concentrate on the hands you’re not involved in, but my memory’s never been eidetic. I like to tell people it’s hard to get a read on me because I can’t remember what my cards were  five seconds after I looked at them. If I don’t not down details of a hand, likely as not I’ll forget about it. But I brought out MomentDiary for the First Friday $20K. Not every hand will have all the details—this isn’t an online hand history—but I got a lot of what happened. Hand numbers aren’t absolute, as bustouts and changing numbers of players at the table make things difficult to reconstruct exactly.

Hand 1 [9d 3c] UTG 13K 25/50
I started in seat 4, table 8. Seats 1 and 6 are open. I fold.

makeamericacamoHand 4 [3d 3c] D 13K 25/50
I don’t usually like low pair, but I limped in with this one, flopped a set, and made a little against seat 5, who was apparently playing every hand with a jack in it. It’s a system. He also had on a MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN camo hat.

Hand 10 [6x 7x] SB 14.75K 25/50
I limped in along with several others and the flop was [kx 4x 5x]. I called a flop bet from seat 2, made the [3] on the turn, and got paid off on the river, putting me up to 17.3K.

Hand 16 [jx jx] BB 14.7K 50/100
I make a raise to 1K over several limpers and get a couple calls. i bet on the flop and win.

Hand 17 [tx tx] SB 50/100
Another raise over limpers, this time nobody calls. Up to 18.7K.

Hand 19 [5x 5x] CO 50/100
Call a raise and fold on the flop.

Hand 23 [ax qx] UTG 75/150
I raise and get reraised by an aggressive player now in seat 6. The flop is [ax 8x 6x], I check, he makes a small bet, I raise, and he shoves. I stupidcall into the set of eights.

Hand 25 [qx 3x] SB 75/150
I limp in, catch a three on the flop, nobody’s betting. I get a queen on the river and it checks around. Nobody can beat my two pair. Down to 7.2K.

Hand 29 [qx tx] UTG3 75/150
I open to 400 and fold on the flop.

Hand 30 [8x 9x] UTG2 75/150
Limp and fold on an ace-high all-club flop (I did not have clubs).

Hand 31 [4x 4x] UTG1 75/150
I raise to 500 and fold to a bet on a [qx jx 3x] flop. By the time the button comes around, I have 5.5K.

Hand 37 [3x 3x] CO 75/150
Limped in with these for old-times sake. Folded on the flop. Down to 5K after the blinds.

Hand 48 [jh 9h] UTG3 100/200
Called 500 and folded to a 1.5K bet on a flop of [ax qx 8x].

I didn’t record the hand I busted out on just before the break and I don’t remember what it was (see what I was saying?) I went to get a re-entry and ended up in the same seat rather than taking a spot at one of the folding tables.

Hand 56 [jx jx] HJ 22K 200/400
First hand after the break, I’ve got a new stack and add-on. I raise to 2K and get one call. The flop has an ace on it, with two under cards, I bet another 2K and he folds.

Hand 57 [as 6s] UTG3 200/400
I flop two pair with three clubs. The turn is another club. But the river gives me another ace and I win with the full house over a high flush.

Hand 58 [kx kx] UTG2 200/400
The only really big pair I get during the entire game. I made a biggish 3-bet over a raise from seat 2 (not the same as before) and he folded [ax qx] face up. I showed.

Hand 59 [qc tc] UTG1 200/400
Raised and folded on the [9x 8x 2x] flop rather than go for the inside straight draw.

Hand 61 [as 6s] BB 200/400
Two players were in for 1.1K, the hand worked well for me not long ago, but I folded to a bet from Aggressive6 on the red [8x 7x 6x] flop. By the time the button came around, I had 28.1K.

Hand 70 [qs jd] SB 200/400
Called a raise to 900 and folded on [6x 3x 2x] flop.

Hand 78 [ah 4d] BB 300/600
Three limpers. I folded on the [9x 9x 8x] flop.

Hand 80 [8x 8x] D 300/600
I somehow managed to stay good with a [7x 5x 4x ax 3x] runout. Up to 29.4K.

Hand 86 [9x 9x] UTG 400/800/100
I raised and got called by BB. The flop was [6x 5x 3x], BB put in a bet and I shoved on him. He thought about it for a long time and finally folded. Talking about it later, he had eights, so my read was more or less correct. It put me up to about 40K.

Hand 91 [ax jx] UTG3 400/800
I raise over a limp, the limper shoves when action gets back to him, and I fold.

Hand 95 [6x 6x] BB 400/800/100
Called a raise, flopped [5x 4x 3x], turned [2x] and got paid with [jx] on the river. Back over 41K.

Hand 98 [kc 8c] CO 40.9K 400/800/100
Got a little hinky with a hand outside my normal full-table range, but I was in late position. I think I limped in after a couple of others and flopped top pair on [kx 3x 2x]. I bet the flop and BB seemed to be obviously trying a float. [3x] on the turn. [7x] on the river and he tried to rep the trips. with a 10K bet, which I called pretty quickly. I flipped my hand over and he mucked.

Hand 99 [8x 8x] HJ 51.8K 600/1.2K/100
Called a raise to 3.2K, folded on [jx tx 4x] flop.

Hand 100 [ac 5c] UTG2 600/1.2K/100
Raised to 3.6K, then folded on [2s 4s 7x] flop.

Hand 105 [8c 8h] CO 48.4K 600/1.2K/100
Limped along with several others after UTG1 tried to raise but didn’t put enough in and it was deemed a call. Folded to a bet on a [ks 9s 2d] flop.

Hand 118 [ac 9c] UTG 44.3K 600/1.2K/100
Raised to 3.5K and folded on an all-spade flop with no pair.

Hand 119 [ax jx] BB 600/1.2K/100
Raised to 7.5K over two limpers and took the pot. Our table broke after that hand and I moved to table 1, seat 5, where there were several massive stacks, one immediately on either side of me, another in seat 1, and one in seat 9, UTG2. We were down to 63 players.

Hand 122 [8h 8s] UTG 800/1.6K/200
I opened to 4K and got two callers, then BB 3-bet to 16.6K and I folded.

Hand 126 [kd qs] CO 36.2K 800/1.6K/200
One of the big stacks in seat 9 limped in, and called my 4K raise. The flop was [ax kx 8x] and I called a 5K bet on the turn, and showed down the best hand. Five minutes later when the same player lost another hand, the player in seat 6 said he hadn’t seen him lose a showdown all night and I pointed out that he’d lost one just two hands earlier.

Hand 141 [4d 3c] SB 40.6K 1K/2K/200
Several players limped in, so I took a chance and folded to a bet on the [9x 9x kx] flop. Not for me.

Hand 142 [ah 9c] D 39.6K 1K/2K/200
I called in late position made 2 pair on the turn and shoved over a delayed c-bet from the big stack on my right. He seemed surprised. The chips put me up over 58K.

Hand 146 [kc tc] UTG2 57.6K 1K/2K/200
I opened to 5K and got 4 callers. The [ac] was on the flop but that was the only one and everyone folded to a small stack shove from HJ.

Hand 147 [ad th] UTG1 52.2K 1.5K/3K/300
I raised to 5K and folded to another shove, this time from BB in seat 3.

Hand 156 [8c 9c] UTG 45.5K 1.5K/3K/300
This is the hand that cost me the money. Not because of how I played it, but because of how I didn’t. I gave some serious consideration to opening with it here but laid it down. Two of the big stacks were involved, seats 6 (UTG1) and 9 (HJ). UTG1 opened, HJ called. The flop was [7c jc jh]. Some betting on the flop. [tc] on the turn and the betting got really heavy, enough to have put me and my straight flush all in. UTG1 had [7x 7x] and HJ had [jx tx], but that was my opportunity to triple up.

Hand 162 [7h 8h] UTG2 38.9K 2K/4K/400
I open-shoved suited connectors. So shoot me.

Hand 166 [ax qx] SB 2K/4K/400
A top 5 player from the Hendon Mob Oregon All-Time Money List in CO shoves over a 10.5K raise from HJ (another big stack, who’s been raising from late position very regularly) and I shove for a little less. HJ folds and I’m racing against [2x 2x]. I catch an ace on the flop and CO stands up, which—as poker lore would have it—is what causes a deuce to show up on the river. I’ll have to try that sometime.

Five hours and twenty-five minutes. 166 hands. VPIP: 21%; PFR: 10%; 19% of hands played won without showdown; 28% of hands played went to showdown; won 70% of showdowns. 32nd of 114 entries. 


For comparison, here’s (part of) the screen from Encore at a similar point in the tournament. I apologize for the crop, I didn’t take it but some of the screens are difficult to shoot when there are players in front of them. Average buy-in at Final Table was $162; at Encore it was $169. Average share of the pot at Final Table (including overlay) was $175, for an 8% immediate +EV.


Bovada $500 NLHE Bounty

Played a couple of medium-low suited connector hands that cost me early on and slid downhill fast.

Thirty minutes. 24 hands. 41st of 50 entries. 

Final Table $1K NLHE

Had to do a rebuy, but then the cards started coming. I hit set after set, and by the first break I was up to 50K, so I didn’t do the add-on.


Got to the final table with about a fifth of the chips in play. Doubled one of the players—James—twice, the first time when he took a chance with [ax kx] against my flopped top pair andcaught on the turn, the next when he had me outkicked. In-between, though, I took out some other players, a couple of large stacks who called off with almost nothing, apparently thinking I was bluffing them. Proposed an ICM chop at four players, but the third-place player wasn’t interested. By then, James was in 2nd chip position to me. After the 4th player went out, I sort of stayed out of James’s way; I laid down [ac 5c] on the last hand, when James called an all-in by 3rd place. The flop was all clubs, and the nut flush would have taken both of the other out, but James and I chopped the money evenly and went our separate ways.

Five hours and five minutes. 2-way chop for 31 entries. +690% ROI.


Bovada $1K NLHE Turbo

About as Turbo as it gets. I late-reg. On the second hand, UTG raises to 10x the big blind with [kh 9c]. HJ 3-bets to 3.2K holding [2d 6c]. SB calls with [8s 8c]. I have 10K in BB and [kc ad] and shove. HJ calls all in for less (gotta have faith, I guess) and SB calls with 4.4K behind. Nothing higher than a [9d] on the board.

One minute. 2 hands. 202nd of 354 entries.

Encore Club $1.5K NLHE

Came in during the second level. Did the rebuy and add-on. Second hand after break, I raise [kx kx] in late position. BB shoves 30BB. I call, he hits an ace with [ax jx] and I’m down to just over 3BB. Out on the next hand.

Sixty-five minutes. 27th of 31 entries.


Bovada $1K NLHE Turbo

I late-regged with about 15BB and doubled up on hand 2 with [qs ts] against [kd kc], making a straight on the turn. Drifted down to 12K, then [td th] more than doubled me up. It was a turbo, though, and with about 7BB, I shoved [ac 9h] UTG, got called by [4d 4s] and busted short of the money.

Fifty-one minutes. 48 hands. 80th of 416 entries.

Encore Club $8K NLHE

Encore late-announced this event after I’d posted the #PNWPokerCalendar in the morning. I had the night off work, and got the chance to play it, then blew up after building up a 50K stack (well above average at the point I busted) raising [kc qc] hitting top two pair on a flop of [ks qs 9s], and getting it all in on the [2c] turn against a player who’d called my raise with [4s 6s] after just complaining the hand before about monochrome boards. Touché.

Two hours and thirty minutes. 71st of 113 entries.


Bovada $22 NLHE Satellite

First hand, UTG2 min-raises [7c 7d] (we’re 25BB deep), I call on the button with [kh jc], and BB calls. The flop is [3h kc ts] UTG2 bets 6.5BB, I shove with top pair, BB goes over the top, and UTG2 folds. BB has [ah kd] and I’m out.

One minute. 1 hand. 7th of 8 entries.

Encore Club $11K NLHE

I picked up [ax ax] in SB early and made several thousand in the first round going all-in on a [6x 4x 3] board against what one player later said was a pair of tens, and another pair of what I’m guessing was jacks. A little later, after limping in with [9x tx], the flop was [7x 6x 5x] and I called an all-in from a short stack in the blinds who had [4x 6x]. He caught the [4x] on the turn, but the river [8x] gave me the straight. Another hand with [qx tx] I raised and BB, a fairly aggressive player, made a big re-raise. I called, and the board flopped [ax kx 8x]. He had about 10K left and made another bet on the [tx] river, then flopped the rest of his chips in before the river card was out. It was a [jx] and I said “I call” and turned over the straight, which beat his [ax tx]. I was up to 50K by the first break and didn’t do the add-on or live re-buy.

We had a player in seat 6 who would get in a pot and then shove on the flop. She’d done this several times, and on a hand where I was UTG1  in seat 8 with [ax tx], I’d limped in at 600—which proved to be a mistake, maybe. Several players came along, the flop was [tc 4x 3x] and I bet, then seat 6 shoved from the BB for nearly 20K. I called, BB had [2c 5c], and hit a backdoor flush on the river. The same player cold four-bet shoved a hand blind pre-flop into Dan “Goofy” Beecher (who was sitting on my left with a big stack after being on life support early on). He called with [ax kx] and the three-bet player folded tens face up. The shover flipped over [8h 3h], caught a three on the flop, and held, taking a big chunk out of Goofy’s stack (since she’s already doubled up through me.

Goofy called  my [9x 9x] shove with [ac 8c] and hit two eights on the flop for trips, costing me about half my stack and taking me down into 10BB territory. Then he got the rest of it with [ax qx] when I shoved [9x tx] in late position. Home by midnight.

Three hours and twenty-five minutes. 49th of 101 entries.


#PNWPokerCalendar Planner for 6 April 2016


Spoof Poker merit badge from the Boy Scout Store

Be Prepared

When will art directors figure out that most poker players don’t have five cards in their hand or that this is a horrible 2-7 Triple Draw or Big O hand?

Just a couple of months to go before the start of the Colossus. If you’re going to Vegas that weekend (or any other weekend), my tips from last year for navigating the crowds might come in handy.


Hey, poker friends. I’m always looking for projects. Paying projects are preferable, but pique my interest enough and I might just fire up the little gray cells and take them out for a spin, just to blow some of the crap out of the cylinders (there’s a metaphor that’ll be antiquated once everyone’s driving electric cars).

This past weekend, dealer, tournament director, and bad poker boy Forrest Auel recommended me to a friend of his (the Head Coach at Scrotoms R Us, according to his Facebook profile) as someone who might know the answer to a question about deep runs in the WSOP Main Event. I didn’t know the exact info off the top of my head, but I was able to figure it out pretty quickly (if by “quickly” you mean I spent a sunny Sunday afternoon hour staring at my computer screen, like I do anything else).

That info should be showing up this week in the first PokerNews article I’ve done in a number of months.

Soon to appear here is the story of a bet on the expected value of professional players in the Main Event. I think the results will be…interesting.

And for the two or three people who liked my Game That Will Live In Infamy series, if you’d really love to see the same type of hand-by-hand analysis of a PLO8 game, you’re in luck! Because it’s already part-way finished, and it’s not nearly as long, though once again, every hand down to the final heads-up confrontation is there.


It’s been a year since Angela Jordison whacked the first three events at the Wildhorse Spring Poker Round-Up, an achievement nearly unparalleled in poker history. Can she do it again? Can anyone? We’ll find out this weekend with the first three events. I’m not sure if I’m going to make it out there myself yet, but keeping my fingers crossed.

Deal of the Day: You Kids Get Off Of My Poker Table!

Several of the Las Vegas summer series schedules are out now that they’ve had time to adjust themselves around the WSOP schedule. The Venetian Deepstack III has been out a couple of weeks. Planet Hollywood’s Goliath series followed that. Downtown, Golden Nugget’s Grand series released several weeks ago, and this past week, the Binion’s Poker Classic schedule came out. One type of event that’ll be on all of the schedules are the incredibly popular Seniors tournaments.

How popular are they? The 2014 WSOP Seniors tournament was the largest-ever live poker tournament with a single starting day. 4,425 entries, won by pro Dan Heimiller for $627K. Seniors tend to have more disposable time and income that family guys in their 30s and 40s (or they’re desperate and hoping to hit it big so they don’t have to live off of whatever has replaced now-expensive cat food as the meat of choice for old folks in poverty). They also seem to like the prospect of not having to play poker with a bunch of snotty-nosed brats with their hoodies and their hippity-hop music. Of course, for the past couple years, the Poker Brat’s been able to enter most Seniors events, which are typically 50+ (I’m looking at you PacWest Poker Classic. 55+ is a travesty!) And it’s not going to be all that long before Kid Poker can play them, right along with Phil Laak and Gus Hansen. Maybe that’s why the WSOP added a Super Seniors event last year for players 65+ in age; there are a lot of former kids who think playing a Seniors field’s going to be a piece of melba toast.

The WSOP’s Seniors tournament (#27 on their schedule) is a $1K buy-in (another thing we seniors like is cheap stuff, and for WSOP events, this used to be as cheap as it got) on Friday, 17 June. It’s a 3-day tournament with a single entry day, starting at 10am (if you were one of the people complaining about the earlier start times for WSOP events, just wait until you’re old) on Day 1 and 11am on Days 2 and 3. Their Super Seniors tournament (#31, also $1K) starts Sunday, 19 June.

The Grand Series at the Golden Nugget has a $250 Seniors (#31) game 18 June, with a similarly-priced Super Senior (#35, 60+) tournament 20 June. The next weekend is a $360 Seniors (#45), and a multi-day Seniors Super High Roller (#48, $10K entry, starting 26 June). The afternoon before the SHR, there’s a $1.1K Mega Satellite to the big game.

Bellagio’s Seniors Summer Championship is a $2,140 entry with three days of play beginning 17 July.

At Planet Hollywood’s Goliath series, 18 June is a one-day $100K guarantee Senior tournament with a $600 entry.

Binion’s has a $240 Seniors game 22 June.

At the Venetian, there are two entry days (14 & 15 June) for their $600, $250K guarantee Seniors tournament (#29). It returns for completion on 16 June.

So, depending on your bankroll and time constraints, the week starting Tuesday, 14 June is your week for Seniors tournaments, with events at the Venetian, the Rio, the Grand, Planet Hollywood, and Bellagios, ranging in price from $250 to $2.1K. The following week are the smaller Binion’s tournament, the slightly larger Golden Nugget game, and the Nugget’s Super High Roller if you did well the week before. Plus, there’s a whole lot of other poker tournaments going on, as well.

You do have to wonder though, if it’s true that “The Old Guy Always Has It,” who’s got it when there’s nothing but old guys?

Disclaimer: My earliest Hendon Mob cash was a multi-way chop in a Seniors tournament at Caesar’s with the 2004 WSOP Seniors bracelet winner.

This Week in Portland Poker

I got nuthin’. No announced specials for the next week, as of Tuesday night. Doubtless, there will be special event announced the day or or day before they take place over the next week. There is a $35K guarantee coming up at Encore a week from Saturday. The following day is a Special Player Day Event at The Game, but they don’t have a time for it on their schedule yet. A week from Friday (at 7pm) The Game is giving away another WSOP package, to the Millionaire Maker. See the #PNWPokerCalendar for links to the schedules.

Only a Day Away

  • The Liz Flynt Spring Poker Classic continues at the Hustler Casino in Los Angeles.Event #10 this weekend is a $100K guarantee with a $335 buy-in. It’s a two-day event with both starting flights on Saturday, at 12:30pm and 5pm.
  • Deepstacks Poker Tour wraps up at Casino Yellowhead in Edmonton on Monday. The C$1.1K Main Event has starting flights at noon Thursday—Saturday, with the final table on Monday.
  • The Wildhorse Spring Poker Round-Up begins tomorrow, with an evening satellite to the Main Event at 7pm Thursday, 7 April. Event #1 is a $120 (including dealer bonus) NLHE tournament at noon on Friday, 8 April. The Main Event is the weekend of 16 & 17 April.
  • Mid-States Poker Tour’s Golden Gates also gets under way tomorrow, Blackhawk, Colorado. Event #1 is a $360 entry $100K guarantee with starting days 7—9 April and a Main Event ($200K guarantee, $1.1K entry) with three starting days the next weekend.
  • Full House Poker’s $10K Heads-Up Championship is this weekend in Eugene.
  • The WPTDeepstacks Thunder Valley series starts Saturday, with a one-day $100K ($400 entry) as its opener, capped off with a $250K guarantee, $1.1K entry event starting Tax Day.
  • If you’re going north, Muckleshoot has a $220 Monthly Special at noon on Sunday.
  • Calgary’s Deerfoot Inn has a 5-event Spring Super Stack series scheduled for 13—17 April, including a C$150K guarantee, C$1.1K event.
  • Talking Stick outside Phoenix has another Getaway Poker Classic, where you get two night’s free room if you register for all three of their tournaments (one $200 and two $300) from 15—17 April.
  • High Mountain Poker Palace in Eugene has a quarterly $230 buy-in scheduled for 16 April at noon.

Check out the #PNWPokerCalendar for more poker.

My Time Is Coming: Report 10 or Out Like a Lamb

Bovada 0.05/0.1 & 0.1/0.25 NLHE Zone 6-Max

It was a week mostly like this. I got stacks in good but ended up losing.

Eighteen sessions. Two hundred eighteen minutes. 943 hands. -325BB. -34.5BB/100 hands.

Encore Club $11K NLHE

MIssed the Thursday night $9K because of a family obligation and I had to work on Saturday, so the special $25K game was out. I ended up getting in at break in the Friday night game after passing up the opportunity to smoke legal weed at a friend’s get–together early in the evening. Got the buy-in and add-on, but not the live re-buy. I’m cheap.

My table was entirely late-reggers, including several of the club’s top regulars. On the second hand I played, about  40 minutes after the first break, I had [kh th] in a multiway raised pot, the  flop was [kc tc 8s], and a regular on my immediate right made a bet. I shoved, everyone else folded, and the reg called with [ac 8c]. The two pair held and he doubled me up, though it didn’t make much of a dent to his stack, even though we’d started at the same time.

Half an hour later at the second break, I had 40K, equal to what you could buy in for if you bought the max chips. Chip average was 51.5K, so I felt relatively comfortable. By that point, my original table had broken and I was in a new position.

On the first hand after the second break, we had a raise and four callers (not including me) to the flop, a bunch of low diamonds on the board. Everyone checked, The turn made it [3d 4d 5d 6d]. Nervous chuckles all around, but no bet. [7d] on the river and everyone checks, not a diamond in the bunch. Not that it mattered at that point. Five way chip.

I picked up blinds and antes in one hand with a shove holding [kx qx]. A little bit later, I open-shoved the same combo from SB and was called by BB, who showed down the same hand. Lost a little more than a third of my stack when I called a raise with it, then a third player re-raised, the original raiser called, and I called, only to have the original raiser shove a [jx 7x 4x] flop, which he took down.

Two-and-a-half hours in I hadn’t seen a pair above [6x 6x]. Finally got [qx qx] and shoved 12BB and got no callers.

I spent most of three hours with a third to a quarter of the average stack. I’d just been through the blinds when our table broke and I was moved into the BB on the new table. A fold left me with only about 3BB (and I still had to pay SB on the next hand. Shoved over a raise with [ax 8x] and got called by queens, with low bards on the board and that was the end of the chance to make the WSOPC Main Event at the Bike!

Three hours and forty minutes. 27th of 104 entries.


Bovada $2K NLHE 6-Max

I really blew this one. Got into the game with a ticket from points for all of the Zone play. Fifteen minutes in, I got incredibly lucky, and not because of the cards.

I was in BB with [td ah]. UTG and SB limped, I raised from 40 to 160 (stacks were still mostly in the range of the the 5K starting stack). Both players called. The flop was [ad 7c kd], I bet 250, UTG called, BB folded. UTG had [qh js], so he’s pulling for a ten. The turn is [4d], I bet 500 and call a raise to 1K. [9h] on the turn, I check, UTG tries to rep the flush again, and I go all-in to call. I was down about 500, so I come out with 9K.

I take out a short-stacked player half and hour later, drop back down near starting stack after losing a couple hands then getting bluffed off [6d 6c] on a [5d 7h 9d 5s] board by [ad 4d]. Then I tripled up with [jh jc] against [ac 2c] and [js ah] on [3c 4c 8d jd 8s]. That put me up to 14K. Just a couple hands later, I knocked out a similarly-sized stack with [kd kh], outrunning a flopped flush draw by [js qs]. Suddenly, I was in the chip lead. Picked up another 5K from a guy who 3-barreled me when I had 2nd pair, which put me over 30K.

Then it was downhill. Flopped top pair against bottom set (who made quads on the river) but didn’t pay off the river value bet. I did, however, pay off with [7d 7c] when [kd qd] went all-in after making a river flush. That hand took me from 22.3K to 8.3K, and left me with just over 16BB, which wasn’t enough to keep me alive long enough to make the money.

Three hours and five minutes. 210 hands. 26th of 142 entries.

Bovada $1K NLHE 6-Max Turbo

Lost 3/5 of my stack the first hands I played. [jc 9c] made an open-ended straight draw on the flop. A short stack goes all-in, UTG shoves, and I shove. UTG has [9d jd], short stack has [jh qc], and short stack wins with queen-high. Out just a fe3w hands later all-in pre-flop with [qh th].

Fourteen minutes. 13 hands. 37th of 43 entries.

Final Table $1K NLHE

The start of a bad day of live poker. Already trying to forget it. Did an (uncommon for me) rebuy because there was some overlay (the early starts this month in Final Table’s shootouts may be eating into their morning tournament). Half the field went to the final table. I was short-stacked, lost a race with tens to another short stack and missed the money by a few spots.

Two hours and forty minutes. 7th of 21 entries.

IMG_2696  Final Table $1.5K NLHE

Came back in the evening and the overlay was even bigger. Again, I had to do a re-entry, but things did not go my way and I busted on the last hand before break.

Fifty minutes. 14th of 15 entries.


 Encore Club $1.5K NLHE

The early bustout from Final Table meant I could get over to Encore in the middle of the second level. Bought the live re-buy when I got in, There was not only no overlay there, the pot was more than double the guarantee. I made what was probably a bad bet and had to fold to an all-in and just never managed to recover.

Sixty-five minutes. 37th of 43 entries.


Bovada $2K NLHE

Late reg with a ticket. It’s a Deepstack tournament with 10K chips to start. I sign up during a break during Level 11, with blinds at 250/500/50. My first hand, I have [ax kx] UTG2, and I raise to 1.5K. CO shoves for 7.6K, I call when action gets back to me, and the board runs out with a ten on the turn. Next hand, I shove [7x 9x] and triple up against the table chip leaders with high ace hands. Then it’s out a couple hands later shoving [qx tx].

Five minutes. 4 hands. 397th of 717 entries.